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why is no one excited about ethanol?

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posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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With alcohol fuel, you can become energy-independent, reverse global warming, and survive Peak Oil in style. Alcohol fuel is "liquid sunshine" and can't be controlled by transnational corporations. You can produce alcohol for less than $1 a gallon, using a wide variety of plants and waste products, from algae to stale donuts. It's a much better fuel than gasoline, and you can use it in your car, right now. You can even use alcohol to generate electricity. Alcohol fuel production is ecologically sustainable, revitalizes farms and communities, and creates huge new opportunities for small-scale businesses. Its byproducts are clean and valuable.




posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:02 PM
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I think, its a vast change for people. To even think that acholical could run cars when it could of been thought of when the engine was invented blows peoples mind a bit "how could we of been so stupid" type thing.
Most people will come round to the idea, it will come to recycling more things and that is good.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:12 PM
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Is this E85? We have an E85 station around here and the gas is 2.75 instead of the 3.77 for normal gas. It's so tempting to just go over there and fill up, but I heard that running cars not made for it is bad.(I have a 93 Chevy Corsica) I'd run it in there but don't want to do anything to make it die on me sooner.

Is this true? That it'll kill an older car faster? If that's the case that may be why people aren't excited about it.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:12 PM
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I think there is a backlash now about people using corn for ethanol. What most people are not aware of is the waste products that can generate alcohol like you mentioned. Also non agricultural land can be used to grow crops to make alcohol with. Here in the southwest Mesquite bean pods cover the ground in many places that you could not grow a food crop on and they are very handy for alcohol production. I plan to build a still and get in on the sixty one cents a gallon subsidy paid by the IRS on alcohol fuel. Sorry but there is no subsidy being paid for distilled liquor.
The model T Ford was originally designed to run on alcohol. Standard Oil soon put an end to that. On most cars produced after 1985 the internal computer takes care of the adjustments needed to keep the car running when you mix alcohol in with your regular gas. Most cars can handle less than fifty percent, but that is almost free when you brew it yourself.

ALCOHOL CAN BE A GAS



[edit on 8-16-2008 by groingrinder]



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by MacSen191
 


The car must have the right kind of gaskets, hoses, and seals or ethanol will eat through them and cause many different kinds of fatal problems. The E85 capable cars are built with this in mind and have taken the necessary steps. There are aftermarket kits that you can use to convert some cars but they are not for the faint of heart.

The main problem with E85 is that it doesn't help you save any money. Ethanol has a much lower energy content than petrol and as a result your car uses MORE ethanol per mile to perform about the same as petrol. This means that your 20mpg car will only get about 16mpg on E85. Were is the savings again?

Jon



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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You have to brew it yourself to get the savings. I understand that it is not for everybody.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 


If you are distilling your own make sure you get a permit.
The revenuers will come a knockin'.

Where I am we're forced to use ethanol. It does lower mileage, forcing you to buy more. It doesn't seem to be helping to keep the $/gal down.

There doesn't seem to be too much of a problem mechanically with cars but boaters are really having a rough time. Ethanol eats fiberglass fuel tanks.

Alcohol does have an affinity for water and over time it seems that it can cause an accumulation in your fuel tank.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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We are not enthused because it's a crock. It takes more energy to produce than it saves, it lowers MPG when mixed with regular gas and it's using up food resources (land) for fuel and putting downward pressure on the food supply.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:34 PM
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There are hidden costs to ethanol that people didn't initially take into account.

Because most of it at this point relies on corn to produce -- yeah, there are plans to make plants that run off switchgrass, etc., but few if none running -- so it's driving up the price of corn to ridiculous levels on the commodities boards. So more farmers switch to corn, where the demand is, which in turn makes fewer farmers plant soybeans, which drives up those prices. All the while, ethanol is not that much cheaper than regular old gas. So we're stuck having to choose between food and fuel, with no particular price advantage going on.

Additionally, unlike oil or gas, you can't pump ethanol any distance in a pipe. It doesn't have enough viscosity. That means you have to carry it by tanker to where you want it, which makes shipping it long distances prohibitively expensive. Either that, or you have to build ethanol plants closer to where you want to sell it. And they're not particularly cheap to build, investors don't see profits from them right away, there's a question as to whether or not the energy needed to create the ethanol is worth the amount of energy you get out, and the plants are not tremendously environmentally friendly.

What? You mean our knee-jerk "solution" to high gas prices isn't as practical or profitable as the quick-buck hucksters would have us believe? Say it ain't so!


And I know you're thinking "hydrogen," and "electric." Just do a little research to see what an expensive mess those could be with their expensive and toxic fuel cells and batteries.


Yeah, there will have to be a change someday, but not until gas becomes so expensive that the costs of the other energy choices are outweighed by the profits.

[edit on 16-8-2008 by Nohup]



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:39 PM
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Actually, 'they' did know alcohol could be used as a fuel when the automobile was invented. A lot of shine runners in the good ol' prohibition days actually used sterilized tanks filled with the contraband to both fuel their cars and transport the illegal whiskey.

The problem comes with quantity. Yes, alcohol can be made from almost any agricultural product (plant life), but it is cheaper to produce from corn. We also eat corn (or used to, before we started burning it in cars
). So in order to produce enough alcohol to handle our transportation needs, we would need a LOT of agricultural waste, and a LOT of facilities to produce it from something that is inefficient at producing it.

There are a few other things to consider as well: alcohol burns slower than gasoline and hotter as well. Therefore, overuse in a standard gasoline engine leads to a shorter engine life and a high possibility of overheating. Those shine runner cars I mentioned? they all ran exclusively on alcohol and had the timing adjusted to allow for the slower burn. they also had high-capacity cooling systems to compensate for the extra heat produced on combustion.

Now add in the fact that there is no such thing as 'agricultural waste'. To us it's waste, as we have no infrastructure to use it. But nature does have such an infrastructure. Every plant (and animal, for that matter) that rots produces richer soil for the next generation of plants. That's why the soil in the rain forests is so rich; the many many generations of plant life that have lived, died, and rotted produce a soil that could grow a bicycle from a buried chain. Every time we use something that is destined by nature for soil fertilization, we reduce the amount of nutrients in the future soil. A few gallons, or even a few thousand gallons wouldn't make a lot of difference in the long run, but when you start talking about millions of gallons per day, that's a lot of leeching of nutrients out of the soil to make your car go 'zoom'.

As for alcohol burning cleaner than gasoline, I don't see how. Alcohol is actually very similar chemically to hydrocarbons, with the major difference being an oxygen atom scattered throughout. Both, when pure, produce two ingredients from combustion in an abundance of oxygen: water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Pollution comes from two factors: a lack of available oxygen for the complete combustion, and impurities in the fuel. The former has nothing to do with the fuel, but rather everything to do with combustion conditions, and while the latter may have been applicable (as alcohol is typically purer than refined gasoline) in days gone by, present gasoline blends are pretty clean of contaminants. That's one good thing to come out of the EPA.

So while alcohol may be a good idea for niche markets, it is simply not sufficient to power all of our transportation needs, has consequences to its overuse (even discounting using food crops directly) and has no real benefits where pollution is concerned.

What is wrong with oil?

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by MacSen191
Is this E85? We have an E85 station around here and the gas is 2.75 instead of the 3.77 for normal gas. It's so tempting to just go over there and fill up, but I heard that running cars not made for it is bad.(I have a 93 Chevy Corsica) I'd run it in there but don't want to do anything to make it die on me sooner.

Is this true? That it'll kill an older car faster? If that's the case that may be why people aren't excited about it.
yes this is e85 ethanol, no this is false these people have no idea what they are talking about. i run it in all my cars 2003 corolla, 92 f-150, and 96 chevy corsica. you have a break in period.what happens to most peoples vehicles is they go straight from gas to ethanol, this is a big no no, first you have to find out what your computer will adjust for and not only that but ethanol is a form of solvent it will clean your fuel tank. when most people go from gas to ethanol they end up taking all the trash that is in there tanks and push it right into there fuel system and into there engine thats why it kills there car. you have to ween you car like a mother cat ween it kittens a little at a time. One should add one gal for every fill up like this 1gal 1fillup,2 gal 2nd fillup and so on till you find out what your cars computer will adjust for. another thing is this will clean out your engine harmful deposits so i suggest changing your oil every 2000 mile for the first 2 or 3 months.and replacing fuel filter if needed. if your in a state that has inspections for exhaust this fun becuase the moniter has a hard time picking the exhaust because you are running so clean. anymore questions you can u2u me.


[edit on 16-8-2008 by crawgator406]



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
We are not enthused because it's a crock. It takes more energy to produce than it saves, it lowers MPG when mixed with regular gas and it's using up food resources (land) for fuel and putting downward pressure on the food supply.


how about this.. We stop paying farmers NOT to grow crops? Eh ?? I bet you food prices would go down and the cost of producing ethanol would go down too.

But no...... That would be way too simple.. As it is food prices are regulated strictly by the corporations. They don't want prices to go down because they would loose money.

Its all about money.......

As for ethanol . People just don't know enough about it because the large Oil companies don't want them to. Just like the fact electric car technology has been around sense the dawn of the Car and has also been suppressed.

There is absolutely no reason why we all couldn't have electric vehicles Non whatsoever. We have the Tech for it. Combine it with hydrogen fuelcell technology and you can run it on water. (Another tech that has been suppressed)

If it isn't going to make the rich richer don't expect for a instant they are going to let it out to the general public. It is the same reason why there are so many TREATMENTS for illnesses but so few CURES.. A cure doesn't make money but a Treatment does. Just like the entire medical situation.. They focus on treatment but do nothing about preventing the illness from happening in the first place.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by wolfmanjack

As for ethanol . People just don't know enough about it because the large Oil companies don't want them to. Just like the fact electric car technology has been around sense the dawn of the Car and has also been suppressed.

Electric technology has been around, but it is far from being efficient and reliable, especially for long distances. Batteries simply cannot hold enough charge to handle long distances, and most people like to go on vacation occasionally. Now, while battery technology is improving, it still isn't nearly as effective to have a charged bank of batteries as it is to have a full tank of gas.

There is also the concern about charge times. It takes about 5 minutes to pump a tank of gas, but much longer to charge a battery bank. The possibility of swapping banks has been proposed, but most people are simply not comfortable with hoisting around battery packs to go a few more miles (especially with the high weight of the typical battery).


There is absolutely no reason why we all couldn't have electric vehicles Non whatsoever. We have the Tech for it. Combine it with hydrogen fuelcell technology and you can run it on water. (Another tech that has been suppressed)

Actually, while electrolysis is an old science, it is also not an energy production event (right now, of course, what the future holds is a matter for psychics). You get as much energy from the hydrogen and oxygen gasses as you use to produce them in the first place, assuming 100% efficiency.

In other words, hydrogen is not an energy source, but an energy medium. Now you could produce hydrogen electrically and sell it at service stations, but then you get into the problem of hydrogen being extremely explosive and hard to contain (tiny molecules!). Also, the typical gasoline station is there to dispense liquid fuel, not gaseous fuel, so there would be the costs of re-working an entire infrastructure. Please remember that we are not talking about some huge evil corporation doing this, or the government doing this; we are talking about average people, gas station owners, having to shell hard-earned bucks out of their personal pockets.

In summary, both electric and hydrogen have potential, but neither are presently sufficient for our needs. I hope this will change, and the sooner the better, but it is foolhardy to think that we could suddenly switch to another fuel overnight, especially fuels that are unproven and have unsolved technical stumbling blocks. In the meantime, we still need oil.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:28 PM
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Burning food for fuel while people starve in this world is ludicrous . At least no one can eat crude. Personally, I think we should be looking to the sun for our future energy needs.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:34 PM
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Personally, I am very excited about ethanol. It is extremely easy to make and can easily solve all of our energy problems.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Yes, I am trilled. the price of feed corn has doubled in the last year. Other grain mixed have also skyrocketed. I suppose if all someone does is consider fueling a vehicle then if probably does put a smile on their face.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by somedood
Burning food for fuel while people starve in this world is ludicrous . At least no one can eat crude. Personally, I think we should be looking to the sun for our future energy needs.


Elsewhere on this thread several of us have brought up the possibility that you can use NON AGRICULTURAL LAND to grow alcohol crops. I even mentioned that you can use wild Mesquite beans which cover the southwest US. I have seen studies that a pickup truck full of mesquite beans can produce forty gallons of alcohol. Alcohol also does not need a pipeline because it can be produced locally almost everywhere. Try that with gasoline.

Alcohol is the people's fuel. Gasoline is for people who have money to burn.

Solar energy is tops on my list, but I do not discount alcohol. Simply because both of them do not require big corporations to get the energy to you and I.

Here in Arizona there are lots of people using electric vehicles for short trips. You see them all the time at grocery stores and pharmacies and they are really popular at the retirement communities for getting around. How much gas would be saved if everybody had a golf cart
yes an electric golf cart to get around in for short trips. How long has this technology been around? Long enough for everyone to have forgotten about it. No you can't pack the family up and go on vacation in one, but I bet it would save you several thousand dollars a year on your short trips. No exotic tech required here.

[edit on 8-16-2008 by groingrinder]



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by wolfmanjack

As for ethanol . People just don't know enough about it because the large Oil companies don't want them to. Just like the fact electric car technology has been around sense the dawn of the Car and has also been suppressed.

Electric technology has been around, but it is far from being efficient and reliable, especially for long distances. Batteries simply cannot hold enough charge to handle long distances, and most people like to go on vacation occasionally. Now, while battery technology is improving, it still isn't nearly as effective to have a charged bank of batteries as it is to have a full tank of gas.

There is also the concern about charge times. It takes about 5 minutes to pump a tank of gas, but much longer to charge a battery bank. The possibility of swapping banks has been proposed, but most people are simply not comfortable with hoisting around battery packs to go a few more miles (especially with the high weight of the typical battery).


There is absolutely no reason why we all couldn't have electric vehicles Non whatsoever. We have the Tech for it. Combine it with hydrogen fuelcell technology and you can run it on water. (Another tech that has been suppressed)

Actually, while electrolysis is an old science, it is also not an energy production event (right now, of course, what the future holds is a matter for psychics). You get as much energy from the hydrogen and oxygen gasses as you use to produce them in the first place, assuming 100% efficiency.

In other words, hydrogen is not an energy source, but an energy medium. Now you could produce hydrogen electrically and sell it at service stations, but then you get into the problem of hydrogen being extremely explosive and hard to contain (tiny molecules!). Also, the typical gasoline station is there to dispense liquid fuel, not gaseous fuel, so there would be the costs of re-working an entire infrastructure. Please remember that we are not talking about some huge evil corporation doing this, or the government doing this; we are talking about average people, gas station owners, having to shell hard-earned bucks out of their personal pockets.

In summary, both electric and hydrogen have potential, but neither are presently sufficient for our needs. I hope this will change, and the sooner the better, but it is foolhardy to think that we could suddenly switch to another fuel overnight, especially fuels that are unproven and have unsolved technical stumbling blocks. In the meantime, we still need oil.

TheRedneck
then why did GM kill the EV1 when the guy that invented the battery for them was able to low the charge time from 8 hours to 1 1/2 and could surpass the gasoline motor in mileage. why did a petro company buy controling intrest in his company only to sell it to GM after purchasing it. GM claims there was no demand that was a lie becuase when they ran ads on this vehicle it ran like a infomertial. when the public was asked they said they wanted to be put on a order list for this car GM pulled it. and crushed all the working models on the road there were pleanty of companies that had EV"s ,heres a few Toyota, Ford, Honda,and Nissan. go to youtube and type in "who killed the electric car", very good video its in several 10 min sections.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by groingrinder

Originally posted by somedood
Burning food for fuel while people starve in this world is ludicrous . At least no one can eat crude. Personally, I think we should be looking to the sun for our future energy needs.


Elsewhere on this thread several of us have brought up the possibility that you can use NON AGRICULTURAL LAND to grow alcohol crops. I even mentioned that you can use wild Mesquite beans which cover the southwest US. I have seen studies that a pickup truck full of mesquite beans can produce forty gallons of alcohol. Alcohol also does not need a pipeline because it can be produced locally almost everywhere. Try that with gasoline.

Alcohol is the people's fuel. Gasoline is for people who have money to burn.

Solar energy is tops on my list, but I do not discount alcohol. Simply because both of them do not require big corporations to get the energy to you and I.
seaweed or kelp can produce large amounts of ethanol, and methane for electricity.



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by crawgator406
I don't remember stating that either Big Oil or GM was innocent. All I am doing is stating the facts.

1 1/2 hours charge time. Wow, so now I would only be 1 hour and 25 minutes late for work when I run out of charge. 90 minutes sitting at a service station is still way way too long. Perhaps ten minutes for a charge that would last ten hours of driving, but that's a far cry form what is available today. Oh, well, everyone has a boss that allows a couple of hour discretion every little while, right?


I have a suggestion (one that I have made many times in the past). Either try to live without oil, develop something yourself to replace it (or at least try), or stop whining. That is precisely what I am doing, the last two on the list (since I believe the first to be implausible).

Until then, until I can go buy a cheap car that runs on something other than gas, until diesel trucks are no longer needed to supply our needs, until plastic is no longer used or is made form something else (and that could be extended to include cosmetics and a range of other products as well), I will support more drilling over future dependency on unstable foreign nations or a dozen steps backward to pre-industrial times.

Those are the choices. Dreaming is not one of them.

TheRedneck



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